Gardens by the Bay 2017
The Secondary 4 and 5 students went on a learning journey this year to Gardens by the Bay to hone their skills in descriptive writing. This essay was written by Natalie Yap of Class 4-8.
The Gardens by the Bay is one of Singapore’s most famous tourist attractions, well-known for showcasing a wide variety of flora, complete with elegant flower arrangements and whimsical sculptures. Welcoming you at the drop-off point are its signature Supertrees, the tallest one measuring about sixteen storeys high. Besides the OCBC Skyway, an aerial walkway connecting two out of the eighteen Supertrees, the botanical garden is also known for its Cloud Dome, Flower Dome and the Heritage Gardens.
The sound of gushing water greets the visitors of the Cloud Dome. It features a thirty-five metre tall mountain, covered with plants of different shapes and colours gracing the world’s largest indoor waterfall. The Cloud Dome houses a large diversity of exotic plants, and replicates the atmosphere of a lush, tropical environment. The musky fragrance wafts throughout the space-age designed dome as you walk along the Skywalk, encircling the gigantic mountain and taking in its grandeur from all angles. On the third floor of the interior is a display of limestones, with informative boards and screens on the floors further below. The bottom floor features a large screen showing a message about our impact on the environment. The visuals show the predicted state of our home planet suffering from various disasters such as earthquakes and droughts, after a mere increase of 5 degree Celsius in the Earth’s temperature. The graphic video is shown to raise awareness of our planet’s deterioration as a result of our actions. The faint sounds of trickling water from the outside evokes a sense of responsibility and determination to protect this beautiful green land in every heart.
The Flower Dome holds an empire of all sorts of flowers, housing their sweet fragrances and the faint stench of fertiliser. The main theme of its decoration changes for different occasions – during Christmas, there would be reindeer statues stepping lightly on bunches of poinsettia flowers and mistletoe, leading Santa’s sleigh through the jolly red and green flora. Other times, the Flower Dome showcases foreign beauties such as the Japanese cherry blossom trees. Excited chatter arises from both tourists and locals as they watch the flowers dust the garden with their pastel pink petals. From poppies to roses, all are sure to find the vast diversity of blossoms a sight to behold.
The Heritage Gardens stay true to our country’s strong belief in upholding racial harmony. The four gardens pay homage to the Chinese, Malay, Indian and Colonial leaders of the past. The Chinese Garden is filled with serenity, as can be seen from the water features and the trickling of water on the rocks. The garden replicates the atmosphere of a quiet, calming natural space. The soothing sound of wind rushing through the bamboo leaves welcomes visitors to the oriental architecture as they walk under the Moongate – a Chinese symbol of prosperity. The Malay Garden upholds the theme of community and versatility. The old kampong houses show the local way of life years ago, bringing a sense of nostalgia in hope of rekindling the familiar ‘kampung spirit’. The Indian Garden focuses on the theme of spirituality. In its centre stands a Banyan tree with its long roots gracefully reaching down the sturdy trunk. On the floor just below the tree is a ‘kolam’ – a symmetrical pattern with an intricate design, made of rice powder decorating the ground with its vibrant colours. Around the circumference of the garden are four statues of their sacred animals – a camel, a cow, an elephant and a lion. Between each of these detailed sculptures are boards that show the practices of the Indians, such as yoga, that allows them to find inner peace and a balanced mind. The Colonial Garden is dedicated to the British colonial masters and features a large statue of a new-born baby behind the white-pillared garden. It features plants that the British had brought from their other colonies to Singapore such as cocoa and rubber. Even the case that was used to safely ship the plants here are on display. The elegance of the area shows the humility Singaporeans have towards our former leaders.
Gardens by the Bay offers a wide range of plants gathered from all over the world. It is no wonder that it attracts many visitors who have come to marvel at the enhanced beauty of nature.